I will soon begin a new consulting project. I dare to say it is bigger than any other project that I have ever done. This time I am the one project managing it. I’m a little excited and nervous. It’s a huge project. It is more than twice the size of my largest (which was considered huge already) ever project and there were essentially three project managers for it. Hakuna Matata.

I’ve been seeking recommendations for Project Management Software or Sites. I have one that I use but it’s a little pricey for the scale of this project. So, I am looking for alternatives. So far I have gotten a few that are useable and some that are more like task management and time tracking apps on steroids. In no particular order but slightly organized by category, here are some of the ones suggested so far:

Project Management


Time Management and Trackers

I haven’t reviewed all of them but so far I have found a couple that may work. I just need to look at the budget.

Oh my dear site. I’m sorry. I promise it was worth it. It’s taken nearly five years and a lot of hard work but I have a new title at work!  I still do what I have been doing for the past three years but now it’s official that I am doing it.

In other news, I joined the dark side and got an iPhone. I decided to give it a whirl. It’s not like I couldn’t sell it for a decent price if I didn’t like it. So far so good. Everyone is on me about not faffing over it. It’s okay. It’s not the bees knees or anything. Honestly, there hasn’t been too much of a difference for me. It does what my android did. It’s kind of been more of a hassle when it comes to music and ringtones. I don’t use it for movies, so I can’t say how it does there. It was way easier to load music on my android.

When it comes to performance, I’ve had tactile response issues with the screen. It’s frozen on me a few times and it has turned itself off on me a couple of times too. I was NOT a happy camper then. I couldn’t get it to turn itself back on and it finally took plugging it in to my computer to get it back on. It had 86% battery life too. No idea what caused it, but it happened. Just thankful I had my work phone in case there was an emergency.

I did buy myself a little present for my phone. Actually, it was for any device. I got a little Belkin Bluetooth Receiver for Smartphones. My car doesn’t have Bluetooth in it (that apparently came standard in the next year’s model). I don’t listen to local radio unless it is the news channel for traffic. So, I prefer listening to TripleJ or audiobooks (Game of Thrones is my latest kick). I had been researching Bluetooth receivers for a while and kept going back to this one. I have not had good luck with the FM transmitters. Even the so-called good brand ones. I found that there were two Belkin models that looked identical. A bit more research led me to discover that they were. Interestingly enough, one sells for twice the price of the one I got! Make sure you get the F4U037 model!

So what else did I buy? A clear back bumper for my phone and oh yes, a new septic leach field. Don’t be jealous. I’d forgotten what it was like to be able to use water without fear of something really bad happening (like non-clear liquids coming back out of pipes). Thankfully we never got to the point of wrong things coming from the pipes, but the fear was there. Oh yes, it was there! So yes, don’t be jealous. Really. I mean it. New leach field, it’s worth it.

It’s been over a full day. The crew is getting weary.

I turned off the bassackwards mouse scrolling. Maybe if I only used a trackpad I could manage. For now, no thanks.

Of course I forgot that I should have made a backup disc (see LifeHacker’s Instructions). So I am redownloading it now. If you need to download it again, open the Mac App store and Option+Click on the Purchased tab at the top (for some reason other have had to use Command+Click).

Some info I have heard about the slowness is that Lion is re-indexing everything for Spotlight searches. It doesn’t explain the fact that opening a new Finder window and waiting for all of the files to show takes forever. But, once the re-indexing is done, it did speed up significantly.

I haven’t noticed a lot of extra heat build up, but those problems I was hearing were mostly on laptops, so it could be isolated.

I hope some of this helps someone. Good luck.

Oh… and I’m so excited that I got facetime on my machine automatically now. Too bad I don’t have a camera installed on this machine. /eyeroll

So I went ahead and  upgraded my home Mac with OSX Lion. I had some reservations but I decided to just go for it.

First thoughts. Beavis this sucks.

The scrolling is completely opposite of what it was. It’s like they are preparing us for a mouseless world. Oh wait, I think they are.  Everything is gesture based now which is fine and dandy on my iPad but it sucks for a computing environment. It’s going to take some getting used to.

After the initial install and reboot, I tried to open some of my adobe applications. Illustrator completely hung on me and Photoshop managed to open partially. After a complete reboot, things improved.

I use SynergyKM to sync the mouse to multiple devices. That is working fine. The scroll reversal works the same no matter what OS type I am logged in to.

So far VMWare Fusion is running with no problems.

I don’t run MS Office on my Mac, I run it within VMWare Fusion. The initial reports I have been hearing are not good.

Since it is getting late, I’ll end it here. Would I recommend it to anyone on their work machine? No. Not yet. You need to get familiar with the quirks and also make sure the issues with software compatibility are resolved. But that is the case with all OS upgrades. Just proceed with caution.

If you are going to upgrade, I can’t emphasize enough the need to enable Time Machine to make a back up of your system just before you install. At least that way you have a way to go back. If you don’t, you will have to start from scratch. Not the most fun.

I have had the hardest time connecting my iPad to connect to this site but i think this time it is finally working. Maybe I can start updating more throughout my day. I am either too tired to update or too busy when I get home. I am living the whole working hard for my money idea.

I am looking to update my portfolio. I have been doing so much that it is time to update. Just need to think about how I want to present it.

Anyone else on pinterest? It is becoming mildly addicting. My co-workers have discovered it and it is a bit dangerous. There are occasional sounds of, “ooh, that’s so awesome” heard over the cynical walls. Yeah. We are a bit weird like that. So if you are there, you know how to find me.

So I manged to sell my iPad 1 to offset the cost of an iPad 2. I reserved it from Best Buy but after five weeks of waiting, I grew frustrated. I eventually managed to get one at one of the Apple stores. I have never been so grateful to have three Apple stores. I didn’t wait in line for four hours like some of the poor souls that I met. I waited 11 minutes in line and got mine.

So, onto the reason for the post. If you’ve seen Apple’s smart cover for the iPad, you’ll know it’s a nifty idea. However, there are a few things wrong with it. Dust gets through the folding points on the cover. That’s not the biggest problem for me though. It’s the lack of a back. I don’t want to have to baby my iPad 2. I didn’t baby my iPad 1. So, after looking around, I finally came across the Mivizu Sense for the iPad 2. I took a risk and ordered it. Overstock.com had it for under $25 so I went for it. I don’t know if they underestimated the popularity or availability but it ended up not shipping on time. So, Overstock.com actually sent me an iPad 2 screen protector and a Mivizu iPad 2 Endulge Case to hold me over until the case arrived. +1 to overstock.com for that! They sent a note along with the protector and sleeve and said it would be shipped out by the end of the next week.

Not only was it shipped out, it arrived by the end of the week! Excellent. So, after a week of using it, I made a video highlighting the smart cover-like points.  It’s below. So, if you have an iPad 2, it isn’t a bad investment. I will warn that it has a potent new case smell for the first few days. Still worth it. I found that the iPad 2, in the Sense case fits in the Endulge case! I’ve lent the Endulge case to a friend while he waits for his Mivizu case to arrive.

I was warned by someone that I might see wi-fi signal degradation with the case on it but I have yet to experience that. If any of you experience it, please let me know.

Oh, if you find it is sold out everywhere, as of this morning, you were still able to “like” their facebook page and get a coupon code so you can buy it on their website.

Yesterday the new iPad arrived in stores. Part of me would like to upgrade my existing one but the other one is saying no, wait. I’m having a hard time waiting. Of course Josh doesn’t think I need to upgrade. /sigh

In other news, there was also a massive earthquake and resulting tsunami in Japan. So sad. We’re not that far inland, makes me wonder. /gulp

I’ve been missing an 8 Gb thumb drive for some about two weeks now. I know that I am really missing it because I had a dream about finding it. Strange.

Oh, if you notice any changes around here, don’t worry. I’m looking at doing a different design. You might just catch some glimpses. 😉

Good gracious. It is nearly March. Where has the time gone? I am working like a mad woman. I’ve taken on quite a few freelance projects recently. In my quest to have no debt I am trying to earn money for a few things. The first being a new car. I’m eying a Ford Fusion. I’ve gone back and forth on various cars and for what I need, it is the best option. The next thing I am saving towards is a new kitchen. I didn’t say I was saving for little things. This makes me saving for my Mac seem like pennies in the piggy bank.

We upgraded our Western Digital Media Player to the WD TV Live Plus. It has “internet media” capabilities. Of course Josh discovered that I have a Pandora account and he has been enjoying using that. We also ran network cables so that we can connect the WD TV Live Plus to the server and access all of our music. Josh took a few weeks and re-ripped all of our CDs to FLAC files and put them on the server. We have a lot of music.

This may sound dorky but is anyone looking forward to the release of Bambi on Blu-Ray/DVD. If you are going to get it, make sure you get a coupon. If you buy it in the first week, you can usually get the Blu-Ray version for under $15. The Bambi coupon is good for $10 off of either the Blu-Ray or DVD combo pack. So you could in theory get a dvd for about $10.

HTC/T-Mobile G2 owners, have any of you experienced any problems with your phone turning off randomly? I have and they want me to do a factory reset on it. I really don’t want to but I’m worried my phone will fail when I really need it. I’m just having a hard time finding a good span of time that I can go without my apps. I need to do it before the warranty runs out though. I think it is in August or September. I have a few months. Eek.

Today I tested a wired lav mic with my Kodak zi8. We bought a couple for work along with a couple of microphones. One is a hand held Sony microphone and another is an Audio Technica ATR-3350 Lavalier Omnidirectional Condenser Microphone that is clipped on. The zi8 inherently pics up a lot of background noise with its internal microphone. Actually most pocket video cameras do. This is why the availability of an external mic jack on the zi8 is so great. We’ve used my personal zi8 with a hand held mic before and that was fine. We’ve never used a lav with it before.

I ran some tests today and the immediate difference in the quality between the internal and external mic was enough to convince one of my co-workers to purchase one immediately for his zi8. I will be purchasing one for myself this weekend. I need to order other items, so I am waiting until I have my shopping list completed. I’m just surprised at how well it exceeded my expectations.

I want to do some outdoor tests tomorrow if it isn’t raining. I am hoping that I can make a quick little video and post it on YouTube to play here for those that are interested. So stay tuned!

This happens to be my first post from my Mac-mini. Yep. I finally got one. I was planning on purchasing an iMac, but we were given a good deal on a nearly new Mac-mini that we couldn’t pass up. It will absolutely serve its purpose for me (to develop on).

Because the Mac mini doesn’t come with a keyboard, mouse or monitor, I had to purchase them. I could have used a KVM switch but Josh said for me to go ahead and look for a monitor, so I did. I ended up with a 20″ that it matched my Windows machine. Score. The only issue is that the stand on the new one is taller so there is a good half of an inch in height difference. I’ll figure out a way to resolve that issue sometime in the near future.

For the mouse I went ahead and bought the Magic Mouse from Apple. We had just bought some for a few members of the team (I’m still on a PC at work, let’s not go there) so I had played with them a bit. They are quite lovely. It took a while to find the magic setting for the speed of my mouse movements. I’m quite happy with it. It wasn’t the cheapest mouse but I’m not bothered by the cost. That says a lot considering I am not keen on spending the money Josh and I work so hard for.

For the keyboard I purchased the bluetooth wireless keyboard from Apple. It’s small and it threw Josh off a bit by not having directional keys and the lack of the +9 keyboard. All was well until the next morning. The batteries that came with the keyboard were nearly dead and the keyboard kept losing connection. Not good. I put in a new set and all was well. Or at least I thought it was. Another day and a half later and I had to put in another set of batteries. This time I started researching the problem. Lo and behold, there’s a problem with the apple bluetooth wireless keyboard and the Magic Mouse. I tried all of the suggestions but to no avail. I again had to replace the batteries. That was when I decided to just get the good old wired keyboard. It’s not as convenient as the wireless but changing batteries every 1.5 days isn’t very convenient either. Neither is it economical or environmentally friendly.

So I’m using a mac. I’m still using my PC too. I think in my line of work, it’s naive to think that I should only use one OS. Things vary just enough to cause very big headaches.

I’m only using the keyboard and the mouse for the Mac though. I’ve been using Synergy to link my Windows machine and my Mac together.

So what does all this mean? Not a whole lot. It just now gives me the tools I need for the development I want to do outside of work. Or it could mean that my path to take over the world is setting into place. Muh ha ha!

Oh yeah. I bought an iTouch too. That came first though. Again, for development.